Welcome to my blog. I will attempt to make it much more than just a pitiful list of the relentlessly mundane minutiae of my daily existence but if you feel that I have failed try to imagine all the stuff that I haven't posted.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Good times

The workshop and kilns seem to be floating on a completely saturated sponge of mud and grass (or is that pond weed?) and a White Christmas seems a long way further north but the festive spirit is building - helped in no small way by my latest glaze test results.
Some may feel that glaze tests are not particularly festive in themselves but when they come out as well as these I feel myself reaching for the mulled wine and a rum soaked mince pie. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope 2013 is a truly great year!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Winter solstice

Ignoring the Mayan prediction and hopes of an alien spacecraft erupting from a French mountain, I decided to look to the future and celebrate the now lengthening hours of daylight by preparing for a test firing.
Much weighing, mixing and syringing later and the test kiln is packed and ready to go tomorrow for the last firing of 2012. These are lineblends of various Leicestershire Cambrian and Pre-Cambrian rocks - variations on previous tests and using some new ash that I collected from the Beacon Hill National Park rangers from wood that grew in the park. Fingers crossed for some good results (the last lot of ash was too full of earth) and no doubt this time tomorrow I will be toasting the kiln with a festive bottle of Fullers ESB.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Festive firing

No post for a while, no Caribbean holiday, just long cold hours in the workshop trying to prevent my feet freezing to the floor. I am also researching a couple of new places to study + went to Worcester University last week to discuss the geology of the Malvern Hills and begin the long process of getting permissions to collect samples. It is a fascinating area with the oldest rocks in England (at a cool 800-600 million years old)plus a huge variety of other sedimentary rocks.
This image shows two of the shale samples I obtained from the geology department fired in reduction to 1270C. Just goes to show that it's not only the clays of the East or the Triassic mudstones of the Midlands that melt at stoneware. The one on the left is a Silurian era red mudstone and the other a grey Carboniferous mudstone. Other than that it's making and remaking for the next wood firing.
It's always a long process making new forms. I liked the later pieces I made so much more than the precursors, so I reconstituted them and carried on making. Time for one more firing before christmas.